Cougar head coach Dana Dimel stated that the team's season-opener against Army this week would have extra importance as the team's home-opener and also as the first Conference USA league game of the season. Though Dimel has never faced Army, he has respect for the service academy teams after having faced Air Force as the head coach at Wyoming.
"It just seems awfully early for a conference game and awfully late to finally have a home game," Dimel quipped. "No doubt about it, we have to turn it up a notch. The schedule got a little juggled and we have an early conference game so it's up to us to be ready. I told the team it's crucial because you don't get conference games back.
"I consider playing Army to be an honor," he added. "Not only are they a good team with a new offense, they have an amazing tradition and nation-wide recognition. The service academies are always very disciplined and they fight all the way to the end. Our players, certainly the seniors, remember the game here two years ago so that's another reason it's important. We only have four home games so we've got to make each one count."
Dimel has moved redshirt freshman David Midyett (Corpus Christi, TX/Carroll HS) to first-string defensive end. Midyett made a pair of solo tackles in his Cougar debut at LSU last week. He has been moved ahead of junior transfers Adrian Lee (Longview, TX/Kilgore JC) and Lee Ingersoll (Arvada, CO/Doge City JC).
Two weeks ago Ingersoll had played brilliantly in the season-opener at Rice, making three tackles and recovering two fumbles, but he missed the following game at LSU after getting bit on the leg by a brown recluse spider. The bite from Loxosceles reclusa is one of the most toxic in the spider species and it required the 6-foot-3, 255-pound Ingersoll to be hospitalized for a full week.
Dimel also switched seniors Nathan Woody (Waco, TX/Midway HS) and Josh Lovelady's (Midfield, TX/Tidehaven HS) positions on the offensive line to tackle and guard, respectively.
Houston has a special connection to the Army football tradition.
football coach emeritus Bill Yeoman, who now serves the UH athletic
department in special fund-raising projects, was a star on the famed Army
teams of the 1940s. He coached Houston to 160 wins, four Southwest
Conference Championships and 11 bowl appearances in 25 years at the helm
the Cougar football program from 1962-86.